Rural round-up

22/01/2011

Optimism prevails despite tough year – Allan Barber at Barbers Meaty Issues writes:

The noises coming from the three meat companies that have declared an annual result to September 2010 are optimistic, although tempered by the knowledge there’s less livestock around this year and farmers need to achieve better profits. The companies with the most reason to be happy are Alliance and AFFCO who have both posted solid profits and reduced debt, as well as increasing their share of EU lamb quota.

Chicory and plantain downunder in New Zealand – Pasture to Profit posts:

I’m in very dry New Zealand awaiting the arrival of my French Discussion group from Brittany.(very impressed with the exciting range of milk products in the supermarkets..much bigger range than when I last visited NZ).

NZ has had very little rain (unlike the poor farming souls in Queensland Australia who are getting floods that are up to 15metres high!!) so since November the dairy farms have struggled for grass.This photo is of Neil & Barbara McLeans farm just north of Hamilton in the Waikato..the cows are getting some pasture plus Barkant turnips. . .

The global dairy industry – who’s to know? Dr Jon Hauser at Xcheque writes:

At a meeting with a client earlier this week I was issued with a “Please Explain”. As something of a market skeptic I have been banging on about EU and US milk production growth and that this was all likely to end in tears. I was looking good up to the end of December – US butter and cheese prices had dropped from October to December, the corresponding futures were ordinary and the EU market was flatlining – the correction was underway.

Then in the first week of January the Fonterra Auction went north and the US dairy futures market followed soon after . . .

Giving up not an option – Sandra Taylor writes in Country Wide:

Determination and tenacity are qualities Bryan Harris has in spades.

Which is just as well, as without them Harris Meats would never have grown beyond a butcher’s shop on the main street of the small North Canterbury town of Cheviot to be the highly regarded abattoir, processing and retailing business it is today. . .

Western Waikato wordsmith Mike Bland in Country Wide:

Waikato farmer Wallace Knight has been playing with words since he was “old enough to pick up a raddle”.

Now living on a 60ha drystock block just outside Te Kowhai, west of Hamilton, Knight has just issued his first book, called Friar Tuck is a Spoonerism.

Laced with humour, the book is a collection of poems written in the past 40 years. It has a distinct rural flavour and while most of the poems are about people not places, much of the inspiration came from the western Waikato district where Knight was  raised. . .


Milk auction price down again

04/08/2010

Prices for skim and whole milk powder and anhydrous milk fat all dropped at last night’s globalDairyTrade auction.

The gDT-TWI index was down 8.3%, skim milk powder dropped 8.9%, whole milk powder was down 7.7% and the price for  AMF fell 7.6%.

An email to shareholders from Fonterra chair Sir Henry Van der Heyden noted the relatively high value of the New Zealand dollar but said the current season’s forecast payout still remained in the $6.90 to $7.10 range.

World milk prices have been volatile, but there’s nothing new in that. Dr Jon Hauser at X-Cheque has graphed milk prices in Australia, France, the UK & USA since 1995 and it looks like coloured spaghetti. (New Zealand prices aren’t included but he says they’re similar to Australian ones).

For me the most interesting data is that of the USA. A regular cycle of volatility has persisted for 15 years.  The peaks are about 3 years apart with a fall to a roughly similar level in between.  There is no doubt that the supply / demand balance in the US is the principle driver of this cycle. In a perverse way the market behaviour is comforting. It is to some extent predictable and it would be more of a worry if there were prolonged periods at the low points.

Australia and New Zealand look like they are trending towards the US cycle. In the short term that will be a positive as it will mean a lift in the long term average price. In the longer term farmers will need to be very careful to avoid getting over excited about the periods of peak pricing. Their businesses need to be designed to withstand the troughs in price. The major risk in this regard is overpriced land and excessive debt.

Our bank is holding a series of meetings for clients at which they give a similar message.

There may be a glimmer of hope for New Zealand dairy farmers though, the price of grain in the UK is very high (close to £140/t). That will increase input prices for dairy farmers there which ought to make it easier for us to compete with them.


Xcheque.com worth checking

25/11/2009

A post at Phil Clarke’s Business Blog on how to translate $NZ per kilo of milk solids into British pence per litre led to Xcheque.com .

It’s a website with a wealth of dairy industry news and views which includes a global milk calculator and blogs.

The people behind Xcheque.com are Neil Lane and Jon Hauser:

Neil Lane who grew up on his parents dairy farm in Gippsland and has been involved in the dairy industry for most of his working life. For the past 8 years Neil has run his own consulting business specialising in the provision of farm systems advice. He consults to individual dairy farmers, dairy industry projects, and milk processors as part of the Intelact group of consultants. . .  

Jon Hauser holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and has accumulated 30 years experience in research, manufacturing, and commercial management of dairy and other food processing businesses. He has also had an active role in the dairy co-operative sector as a CEO and Director.  . .

They are Australians but the website covers global dairy industry news and issues.

Oh dear, I’ve found another opportunity for work avoidance.


<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: